I missed the cinema release, so I read Adam Nevill's novel while I waited for the DVD release. The DVD was released today so I can review them together.
First up, I liked the movie and I liked the book, but they are quite different, and in a way, that's what makes both the more interesting.
One of the things I really liked about the book was the references to Swedish death metal bands. It felt like I was getting a nod from someone else in the know - bands like Bathory are very much an acquired taste. Yet strangely, even though I felt more in tune with that part of the book, it was the only part of the novel to flag. It felt like something I know I'm guilty of in my own writing, and that's putting personal preference over story. That's very much where editors come in, but I'll defend Adam's angle to the hilt, because it's those personal touches that give novels a sense of heart.
So I was expecting one hell of a movie score! Bring on the speed metal and screaming vocals.
It didn't come. The movie stripped that whole part of the novel out and altered the story. It isn't true to the book, but I don't think that's a bad thing. A director has to look at what works in words and decide if it will work on screen. Just think of The Shining - what works in the book would have been laughable on screen.